Miranda Lambert: ‘I was deemed an honorary Okie and I don’t want to give up that title’


Former Oklahoma resident Miranda Lambert has something she wants to say:

“I’m still an honorary Oklahoman if ya’ll will have me,” the country music star said during a phone interview. “I was deemed an honorary Okie, and I don’t want to give up that title.”

You can welcome Lambert back to Oklahoma when she brings her Wildcard Tour to Tulsa for a Friday, Feb. 7, BOK Center show.

In advance of Lambert’s return, she agreed to take part in a phone interview with the Tulsa World. Topics included doggies (she’s collecting donations for them), first responders (she’s meeting them at tour stops) and, of course, Oklahoma, where she lived while married to ex-husband Blake Shelton. Now, she’s married to NYPD officer Brendan McLoughlin.

The phone interview took place only a few hours after the new tour began with a Jan. 16 performance in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Were you so wired and full of adrenaline after the first show that you were up all night, or were you zapped?

I went to bed about 25 minutes after I walked off stage. It’s pretty overwhelming. You rehearse all week — well, I guess you rehearse your whole life for a tour. Do you know what I mean? It takes a lot out of you, and the first night we always over-think everything. I didn’t even go see the band (after the tour opener) and, luckily, today I hear that on their bus they were all over-thinking everything.

Is it normal for you to be zapped after a first show?

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Yeah. Well, in my 20s I could go all night, but now, I really have learned to preserve energy when I need to. Used to, I would burn it out and then realize I needed to preserve too late, but now I kind of know.

Do tours take on a personality of their own and, if so, does this one have a personality already?

I feel really good about this one. Some (tours) you remember by the shows themselves and some you remember by the relationships you made. Some you don’t remember, which is probably good, too. … This one feels (different). I just came off of an all-girl tour, which had its own mood, obviously. It was a little more getting emotional … because it was a bunch of girls and everybody had something to offer, which was really cool. But this one, Cody (Johnson) is a classic Texas cowboy and LANCO has this young rock ’n’ roll energy. I have a feeling this tour is going to be a lot of fun and a little relaxed. (Editor’s note: The Randy Rogers Band and Parker McCollum will be the support acts at the Tulsa show.)

Why is it important for you to keep your title as an honorary Oklahoma?

I made a lot of friends there and I had some amazing memories in Oklahoma and my bus driver is one of my best friends and he’s an Okie (from Blackwell), so we constantly have that Texas-Okie argument going on. But, you know, I just feel like I had some really great times there and made a lot of friends and memories. You know how Texans are proud. It takes us a long time to get used to living in Oklahoma. But I did it and I loved it.

Texas and Oklahoma are rivals, but they sort of stick together. Right?

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We’re rivals unless someone talks about the other. We can talk about each other, but ya’ll can’t.

What do you miss the most about living in Oklahoma or Oklahomans in general?

I have actually property still in Oklahoma. It’s my dad’s baby, so it’s his hunting ranch. He keeps it nice and beautiful. I feel like we are neighboring states, and I was kindred spirits with the people there. Just salt of the earth. That’s kind of where I am from (in Lindale, Texas).

You are partnering with animal aid organizations (including the Humane Society of Tulsa) for a “Fill the Little Red Wagon” campaign while on tour. Did one specific pet inspire you to do this for animals or moreso was it inspired by a lifetime of animals?

It’s both. I grew up with a yellow lab sleeping under my crib. My whole life, I have been surrounded by animals. But as an adult, whenever I had a platform that I was able to start using for good — for a charity — rescue animals just seemed perfect. I was volunteering at the local shelter in my hometown and I ended up adopting a dog named Delilah and she was my tour buddy through all of those first really hard, long years and I think that’s what really inspired me to push forward and actually start (my) MuttNation (Foundation).

Do you still have Delilah?

She is still with us, if you can believe it. She is almost 17, and she is living with my mama. She has lived with my grandma for the past 10 years. She retired from the road about 10 years ago and she lived with my grandma, who passed last year, so she is with my mom and she is still doing great.

What kind of dog is Delilah?

She’s a little Maltese mutt-looking thing.

You’re honoring — and meeting with — first responders on this tour. How did it go on opening night?

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It was great. Two firemen. It was a couple, and they were firefighters in Tupelo. It’s really cool. I mean, I have eight firemen in my family. My dad was a police officer, and I married a cop now. It’s the same thing as the MuttNation stuff really. It’s kind of natural. It comes organically. You know what I mean? It just makes sense.

I went to visit (WNSH FM) in New York with my husband during the release of (my album) “Wildcard” and (morning show host) Kelly Ford, she does it every Friday. She nominates a first responder. It happened to be Friday, and she let me nominate my husband. I just thought it was so cool. After hearing about it, I was like I need to be doing this on the road! I want to meet these people and thank them. I’m really happy about it.

Who does more important work than first responders?

Exactly. They’re at the shows, the paramedics and the police officers, and they are doing security at the shows keeping everybody happy and safe. It’s more about me wanting to say “thank you” than anything.

Are you a Kansas City Chiefs fan because you and quarterback Patrick Mahomes are from the same hometown?

Yes. My mom has gotten me on that train. I am not a big sports person, but I love … wearing jerseys and hoodies, so I kind of jump all over the place — whoever is doing (well). Now, I’m a Chiefs fan because you’ve got to support the hometown and No. 2 is the Titans, living in Tennessee.

Have you met Patrick Mahomes?

I haven’t met him, but I think we need to join forces and do something cool for the east Texans.

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